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DVD: In-House or Outsource?
Do most funeral homes create their DVD's in house, or do they outsource to their 'local technology expert'? To my surprise through months of questioning many different firms throughout the United States, it seems like it's about 50/50; the main argument being time. Folks who outsource will often say "we don't have time to scan 30 photos, and create a DVD – there's just not enough time in the day." They are right, days are filled, you have less staff, and higher expectations from the families you are serving. Others will say, "Many families bring in their own DVD for us to play." This certainly takes the guesswork out of it, but potentially also introduces a lost opportunity. Funeral service-produced DVD's have come a long way in the last 3-5 years. Companies within funeral service have made video generation software readily available, easy to use, and very reasonably priced. Did I mention, easy?
I connected with a friend, Michael Calcaterra, from Wujek-Calcaterra & Sons in Sterling Heights and Shelby Township, MI and asked him about their decision to move from outsourcing to in-house production. "We need to continue to provide quality products and use in-house talent to create these products, all while controlling cost. Outsourcing was expensive, and there is no difference in quality. The DVD's we will produce now are fast, high quality, and nicely priced." With a list of a thousand items to complete in the funeral process, adding an additional step can scare, frighten, and even anger funeral home staff which is why choosing the right video generation software can make a world of difference. "We have carefully architected our products from the beginning with the funeral home in mind focusing on creating valuable solutions that are fast and easy-to-use and help funeral homes lower costs while increasing revenues," says Curtis Funk, President/CEO of Tukios, Inc. "The production needs to be fast, easy, competitively priced, and high quality. That's really what we are after," adds Calcaterra. The goal of making this easy on you and your staff is crucial, and vendors in funeral service are listening.
The most time consuming task always doubles back to photo scanning. Just as DVD companies have come a long way scanners are now lightning fast and have time savings in mind. With speed and dependability, there is an investment. High speed scanners can range from $450 for your Cannon's of the world, up to $1800 for the commercial Kodak. I am sure you can find cheaper/more expensive models, but in the end a very reasonable business investment. These high speed scanners are worth every penny, and will make photo scanning at the funeral home much less resource intensive. If you couple the scanner with high quality video production software, you can't lose.
Funeral service is constantly looking for meaningful ways to increase customer value and revenue; here is an opportunity. DVD's will never take the place of anything you do as a funeral director however they can elevate the funeral process and you in a positive way. The DVD has gone from the occasional add-on to something as familiar as a register book in many firms across the US; others avoid them at all cost. With technology on the minds of the American consumer at all times, this might be an easy way to make your offerings more appealing to this growing demographic. I encourage you to start exploring the options to self create the DVD; you might be surprised how easy and how profitable this becomes.
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